TechTrax Goes on Hiatus!
If you don't know what it's like to have life overwhelm you, I wish I had your
It appears that Greg and I have had our quota of 2003's life's little surprises
all hit us within the last few weeks. From some serious issues within the
MVP program...to sick dogs. From teenagers with major issues...to games of fruit
basket upset on the job when a favorite boss decides to suddenly quit. Oh, and
did I forget to mention that we just inherited a new puppy? And then there's
mom's reminder that we said we'd stain her deck this summer! And don't forget
that business trip to Boston or the family commitment trip to Dayton! And make
sure you fish out those important email support request amongst the tons of
rampant spam that's getting worse and worse every day.
STOP the world...I want to get off!
Okay, we know there are many folks out there with much bigger issues to deal
with than these, so we're not looking for sympathy. But right now we've realized
we need a serious break in the action so we can catch up with life's issues...finish
some projects that are getting further and further behind, thanks to these unexpected
surprises, and do a little important technical studying that we need to do before
we get too far behind the technical rat race.
Apologies for the sudden notice, but it's important that we put a few things,
including TechTrax, on hold for a bit while we catch our breath. If we don't,
we might just go loopy. And trust me, it's not a pretty picture! Therefore,
TechTrax will not be updated for the summer (which is about to start here in
But know that all the great articles will remain here. This hiatus will also
give you a chance to catch up and study all those things you haven't
been able to do yet. Just click on the Archive
link to view all past issues or run a search on a particular subject. We'll
leave this April issue up as the current issue...until we return in the fall.
Hope you understand! And if you need a techno fix while TechTrax is taking
a break, be sure to check out some of these terrific linke: Linda
Johnson puts out a great newsletter
on Office, as well as runs a terrific Office
support group. Vic
Ferri runs one of the top Windows
Tips & Tricks support groups. Susan
Daffron has a ton of terrific articles in Computor
Companion, many written by Dian
Chapman. And Suz also put out a weekly
tip newsletter. Geetesh
Bajaj, PowerPoint MVP, puts out one of the best
PPT newsletters and Steve
Rindsberg run a great PPT
support site! Then there's also the Microsoft
free support newsgroups and the Word
MVP support site. You can also find links to other MVP support and FAQ (frequently
asked questions) at these two links: MVP
Web Sites and MVP FAQ
We'll send all subscriber's a notice when we return in the Fall. In the meantime,
I wish you a wonderful and peaceful next few months.
Until we meet again...
Before we get into all the goodies this month, I want to make sure that
all our subscribers know that there are some malicious folks out there who have
been spoofing Microsoft Security notices and sending these virus emails to users.
At first glance, the emails look fairly official, until you check the sender's
email address. The message tells you to install the attached file to your system.
DON'T BE FOOLED! Know that Microsoft would NEVER send you an attachment
to install! If they did send you a notice, they would provide you with a legitimate
Microsoft URL where you would be instructed to go to download the patch or fix.
If you should receive a security email from Microsoft telling you to install
an attached file...DELETE IT! You can sign up for legit MS Security
notices here: http://www.microsoft.com/security.
And you can read more about this particular problem by clicking HERE.
Okay, that nasty business out of the way...let's get on with this month's info
and have some fun!
TechTrax is honored to have two new writers join our writing team. Jon
Peltier is a Microsoft Excel MVP who was unsuccessful at getting away from
me at the MVP summit and was forced to listen to my logic about why he should
write for TechTrax.<smirk> Lucky for us, Jon is a great guy and agreed
to join us so he can teach our readers more about becoming an Excel expert.
This month he starts his new venture off by providing details about creating
graphs in Excel. David
Horowitz has also linked up with TechTrax starting this month. David is
consultant who started his professional career working for Microsoft. This
month David explains how to use and accept digital signatures. Developers and
users alike should not miss his article.
Don't miss checking out Greg's latest free utility! He's revised the
File Cataloger to create the Directory Cataloger. This version will not
only display your directory tree structure for printing, but it hyperlinks to
each file. Great for maintaining your computer directories and the industrial
strength version is a wonderful maintenance tool for server admins! See
Cataloger article for details.
I have a few housekeeping issues I need to pass along to you, before I tell
you how to win a new keyboard!
1) New HTML Monthly Briefing
TechTrax originally notified subscribers of the new issue by sending a simple,
text-based email. Then one of our blind subscribers told us it would be useful
to have a Word doc version sent via email each month to save online and navigation
time. So we created the imageless Word doc monthly version of TechTrax. Now
you have one more optionan HTML notice. You can opt to have the TechTrax
Monthly Briefing delivered each month to let you know that the new TechTrax
issue is online. It will provide you with article summaries and links directly
to the article.You can sign up to receive this new briefing at: www.mousetrax.com/techtrax.
A sample can be viewed HERE.
2) Subscription Modification
If you'd like to sign up for the new HTML version, but know you have already
signed up for the text or doc version, you may be concerned about getting
too many notices each month. So to help you help us keep our subscriber database
maintained, we've now created a way that you can check your subscription and
make modifications. You can hit our main www.mousetrax.com/techtrax
page, enter your email address(es) and check to see what subscriptions we
have for you in our database. Then you can click Delete to remove those
you don't need. If you want to resubscribe under a new version, just remove
the one you have now and enter a new one on the main page. Feel free to check
it out one of these days to make any needed modifications. Ahem, but do me
a favor and let's not all rush over to check my database at the same
time, eh? I'm not the greatest DB programmer and it'll probably blow up!<grin>
3) Bounced Notices
Each month, we get a handful of bounces to our notices. If you've signed up
for a TechTrax notice and suddenly realize you're no longer receiving them,
it may be because you've bounced back to us for three months in a row and
we can only assume you no longer exist! So your email address will be removed
from our DB. But now you can check your address. If you're no longer listed,
feel free to sign up again. However, this time, please use an email address
that won't bounce or learn to clean out your inbox more often so it's not
over it's limit!
4) Printing TechTrax
If you want the ability to print TechTrax, but find it hard to print the pages
from your web browser, because the text goes passed your margins, you have
a few choices. You can change your print page orientation in your browser
to landscape to make sure it all fits...you can sign up for our doc version
and you'll have the info in a Word doc format...or you can highlight the article
text in your browser, hit Ctrl/C to copy and Ctrl/V to paste
the content into a Word document. Word does a great job of handling web content
and works great for printing. That's actually how I assemble the Word doc
version each month!
Enough with the admin details...on to the Easter Egg Hunt!
TechTrax will turn 1 year old in May, 2003. We're thrilled that this Ezine
has become such a big hit with this community! I was hoping to hit 2,000 subscribers,
but I think we may fall a little short. Of course, you could always thank
us for all the info we provide you by telling all your friends how wonderful
TechTrax is and tell them to sign up, too!<cheshire grin>
To celebrate our anniversary, we want to give you, our loyal readers, a present!
We have one brand-spankin' new Microsoft Office Keyboard and we will give it
away to one of you! I have two of these and I just love them! Lots of extra
bells and whistles to program and instant access buttons to push. Very cool!
However, you're going to have to work for this one! We've hidden 12 Easter
Eggs throughout this issue of TechTrax. You must find them and decode their
clues to get a chance to enter the contest. So be sure to read the details in
article...and good luck!
Well, whatcha waitin' for...get moving!!
Dian D. Chapman
Editor, TechTrax Ezine